What if life could nudge you in the right direction when nothing seems to be going right? The romantic musical comedy The Other Josh Cohen inventively and comically explores this concept and more continuing at the Westside Theatre in New York, New York through April 7. This production is 90 minutes without an intermission. Click here for more information and tickets.
Imagine a studio apartment being robbed on a holiday with Grinch-like stealthiness, perhaps even the thief figuratively “taking the last can of Who Hash” which in this case is unceremoniously a radio. However, rather than it taking place on Christmas Eve, it’s on Valentine’s Day, and what little the thief does leave behind becomes your most treasured possession – a certain CD. It’s easy to relate to this scenario because my own car was robbed once and I knew kids were probably responsible because they left the movie soundtrack to Titanic behind. Ah, kids today.
The victim in this robbery is Josh Cohen, portrayed with lovable earnestness by Steve Rosen as Narrator Josh, portrayed with confidence and charm by David Rossmer, looks on. It seems that nothing is going quite right for Josh until an unforeseen circumstance just might turn his life around.
This multi-layered musical comedy is as ambitious as it is hilarious. Not only does the show take off right away and I’m not just talking about most of the set, but it plays with time frames, utilizing a small, but ceaselessly hardworking, multi-talented cast capable of playing several characters at the drop of a dime. How many shows can say that the cast is also the band and it all runs like clockwork?
With orchestrations by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer, The Other Josh Cohen is packed with catchy, insightful, comical, and frequently optimistic tunes about life and isn’t afraid to get occasionally silly. The lighthearted, rock and roll and pop soundtrack includes Hang On, The Other Josh Cohen, What If, Change a Thing, and Samuel Cohen’s Family Tree which come highly recommended. The Other Josh Cohen star-studded CD soundtrack features the voices of Hank Azaria, Sutton Foster, Sarah Bishop, and Richard Kind to name just a few.
There is a great deal of natural chemistry among this small cast and though they seem to be improvising at times, it is an entirely scripted show punctuated by timely pop culture references. Cathryn Wake, Jane Bruce, Luke Darnell, Louis Tucci, and Megan Loomis all make portraying several roles look easy as glittering Aunt Bea, Josh’s neighbor who is part of the “she” street band, the superintendent, Josh’s father, and the dentist are particular highlights.
So The Other Josh Cohen is funny, inventive, semi-interactive, and has a multi-talented cast, but what makes this show special? Even when life shows its dark side, there is always hope. It’s good to laugh a little (or a lot) and through its catchy, sometimes self-deprecating songs, everything in life just might turn out ok. That makes for more than just a fun night out.
The Off-Broadway, romantic musical comedy, The Other Josh Cohen continues at the Westside Theatre at 407 W 43rd Street New York, New York through April 7. Click here for more information and tickets. Click here for further details on that star-studded soundtrack.